Returns keep holiday energy alive


The Christmas shopping season may be over for most people, but for local retailers the sales kept ringing in Thursday, despite being the day after Christmas.

A day known for making returns, Nicole Amick, area supervisor for the Fort Dodge Kohl’s store, said return and exchange transactions were about equal with purchases of new items Thursday.

“We’ve been pretty even with both,” said Amick. “We’re selling about as much merchandise as what has been returned or exchanged today.”

Amick said Kohl’s opened at 5 a.m. with sales for early risers or those looking avoid lines to get a head start on their returns. After several weeks of early morning openings and late night closings, the store will be returning to normal hours soon, she said.

“We opened early today, but will be back to opening at 8 tomorrow,” said Amick. “Soon we will get back to normal hours.”

At Sears in the Crossroads Mall, Store Manager Lindsay Hoeppner said there had been more exchanges than returns for refunds.

“Lots of exchanges,” said Hoeppner. “Mostly on clothing and tools. That’s all I’ve been doing since I got here.”

But Hoeppner said there had been a lot of purchases among the transactions Thursday.

“There’s been a lot of spending with gift cards,” she said. “And exchanges for sizes. Most everything has just been return exchanges, which is good because they are still getting something back. Our customers are still leaving with something.”

Like Kohl’s, Sears opened early Thursday, at 7 a.m., but will resume normal business hours today.

“Tomorrow it will be back to normal,” Hoeppner said. “We were open until midnight the last four nights before Christmas.”

“Overall it has been pretty painless,” she said.

Several wreaths still hung from the ceiling at Sears Thursday afternoon, but Hoeppner planned to take them down before going home for the day.

“By the end of the day, our Christmas decorations should be down,” she said.

At the Calendar World kiosk in the mall, sales associate Destiny Stienblock said even she had a few returns and exchanges.

“We do see our fair share of returns,” she said. “Things have been good today.”

Stienblock said she also had many sales transactions during the day as the calendars and games available at the seasonal retail shop are now half price.

“I might even take advantage of that sale myself,” she said.

At Bookworld, Manager Carol Jones said most customers come in with a specific wish for their Christmas gift recipients.

“We see fewer returns and exchanges,” said Jones. “This is a day when we get a lot more purchases by gift certificate, and our sale items have been selling really well. This is a time of year when we really clean house.”